Caloenas is a genus of pigeons. The only living species is the Nicobar pigeon (C. nicobarica).

Adult Nicobar pigeon
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Caloenas
G.R. Gray, 1840

One or two extinct species are known: the Kanaka pigeon was a large species from New Caledonia and Tonga. It is only known by subfossil remains and was probably hunted to extinction by the early settlers. The spotted green pigeon, another extinct species from an unknown locality, has only a slightly similarity to the Nicobar pigeon due to its neck feathers. Ornithologists place it in this genus, but there is not a unanimous agreement. One surviving specimen exists in the Liverpool Museum.


The genus Caloenas was introduced by the English zoologist George Robert Gray in 1840 to accommodate the Nicobar pigeon.[1][2] The genus name combines the Ancient Greek kalos meaning "beautiful" with oinas meaning "dove".[3]

The genus contains two species:[4]

Sometimes included in the genus is a species that probably became extinct 2,500 years ago:


  1. ^ Gray, George Robert (1840). A List of the Genera of Birds : with an Indication of the Typical Species of Each Genus. London: R. and J.E. Taylor. p. 59.
  2. ^ Peters, James Lee, ed. (1937). Check-List of Birds of the World. Volume 3. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 139.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (2020). "Pigeons". IOC World Bird List Version 10.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  • Steadman, David William (2006). Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-77142-3.